It is all very exciting round here at the moment, just as summer is winding down so we enter the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness” as our old friend John Keats said; classic poetry and gardening – what’s not to like. Anyway, there is lots to be getting on with in the garden, not least harvesting fruit and taking late cuttings etc.
22nd September: Things I have been doing lately.
👶 Harvesting Sago Palm pups. As everyone knows Sago Palms are very expensive, but not if you can get them for free. Yup, all you have to do is watch out for when your Sago Palm starts to “pup”. The pup is a small mini Sago Palm that appears at the base of the plant, I don’t think daddy Palms are involved – at least I hope not, this is a wholesome family blog with a Christian message. Anyway, when this mini pup appears at the base of the plant – see first picture below – just dig around it carefully to expose what looks like a small coconut attached to the main trunk by a hard woody structure. Then taking a sharp spade cut down as close to the pup as you can. This takes a fair bit of force, but if you persevere you will succeed in loosening the pup from its mum. You will then have what looks like a mangled coconut with fronds sticking out the top, see second photo.
Cut off the fronds to leave you with a woody coconut with a scar on one side where you cut it from the Palm. Clean this up with a hard brush being careful not to do any more damage to the scarred area. You then need to leave the pup in a dry cool area out of the sun, for about two weeks till the scar heals over, see third photo. This stage is important so don’t be tempted to just plant the pup, as infection will get in, the pup will die, and I will phone the Spanish RSPCA equivalent and they will prosecute you.
After two weeks plant the pup in a tight fit pot, in a mixture of sand and compost. This needs to be free draining so 25% sand to 75% compost should be about right. I have made the mistake of making the mix 50/50 before with subsequent disaster. Water this lightly and keep it dry to the touch, too wet and it will rot. Keep an eye on it and hopefully in about six weeks you should see fronds growing from the top. See photo four for a happy pup in his bed.